Future visions of social security for a vital region

The province of Friesland is struggling with ageing and a thinning population. Administrators and policy makers have indicated their need for a shared vision and future prospects to respond to the impact of shrinking and aging. Therefore, students from the Thorbecke Academy created scenarios for municipalities in shrinking areas of Friesland in collaboration with ETFI.

"The students of the minor social security developed scenarios for shrinking municipalities in Friesland under professional guidance of professor Albert Postma. A great start of a new collaboration between the education programme integral safety of the NHL and Stenden ETFI.” - Heleen Wagemans, lecturer integral safety Thorbecke Academy

Future-proof strategies for a shrinking congregation

More than 20 graduate students argued that in terms of shrinking and aging population the focus is often on the impact on the economy. However, also social security and quality of life are important themes. As a result, the complexity of problems increases. This requires an innovative strategic plan. By linking scenario planning strategy to a proactive approach of shrinking congregations is encouraged. This increases the resilience and reduces the vulnerability.

Students develop scenarios in 8 steps with the ETFI scenario planning method:

  • Formulate a scenario question focused on social security in a Frisian shrinking congregation
  • Analyse the environment in which the municipality operates
  • Set external developments that can influence social security the coming years
  • Identify the driving forces that will influence the expected social security
  • Assign key uncertainties: the driving forces that are most unpredictable
  • Create four scenarios: future scenarios of how the environment could develop
  • Formulate strategic actions that can prepare the community for possible futures
  • Present scenarios and strategic actions for the shrinking congregations through creative posters

Scenario planning in education

Providing scenario planning training for domestic and foreign educational institutions is not new. Students and teachers of the University of Tartu Pärnu College in Estonia, IREST/Sorbonne University in Paris, NHTV and Stenden University in the Netherlands are already introduced to our scenario planning method. Our expert trainers have teaching experience and know what is happening in the field of leisure and tourism. Find out how we can add scenario planning to your curriculum.